Louis CK gestures and frowns, holding a microphone during a comedy set.

When Will Men Stop Acting Like Louis C.K. Isn’t Doing Just Fine Post-‘Cancel’?

Sometimes, it is okay to recognize that Louis C.K. is doing absolutely fine despite admitting to the stories of his sexual misconduct. In a new piece from The Hollywood Reporter that explored the “MeToo Movement” five years later and what happened to these once-praised men after the public learned of their dark pasts, writer Gary Baum highlights how the cancellation of these men has done damage to their careers, and while yes, we have seen some consequences for their actions, using Louis C.K. as an example in any way is … well, baffling. He just won a Grammy.

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The piece points out that he won the Grammy and that he’s going to perform at Madison Square Garden and yet he keeps talking about his fanbase and how it is significantly smaller. Well, frankly, that doesn’t matter. He’s still performing and winning Grammys and booking venues like Madison Square Garden. Is he somehow entitled … to have fans? To good press? What is it?

He’s making money; he’s working. He’s doing comedy, and nothing is seemingly stopping him. Sure, he isn’t someone who many of us seek out anymore, but to act as if he really lost much is certainly a choice. What I think doesn’t sit right for me is that the piece is seeming to say that the alleged reality of what these men have done has gotten them blowback and hurt their trajectory, but they are still working.

And acting as if Louis C.K. is in any way suffering just doesn’t really sit right with me. He’s not! And sure maybe I now watch Parks and Recreation and cringe when I see Dave instead of before when I didn’t mind the character, and I will never go back and finish watching his show Louie, but he has no right to my esteem, and my single choice isn’t hurting him. Again, he’s performing at Madison Square Garden.

Playing MSG negates cancelation

The idea of “cancellation” is frustrating because it’s not about men being “canceled,” but instead, it’s about consequences to their actions—and sometimes that consequence is people not liking you anymore. You can’t exactly force them. The way people talk about these men allegedly doing something horrific and then acting like they should be able to go on and make movies and make money because it was their previous livelihoods is just … well, something I’ll never wrap my head around.

But for Louis C.K., he basically took a few months off and turned around and just kept showing up at comedy venues uninvited or unannounced. Then he went on to get a Grammy award and perform huge venues, so he is absolutely fine. Sorry he’s not up to the same level of fame and acclaim he once was, but he’s not struggling and he’s still doing comedy.

So it would be great if he were not continually used as someone who is somehow getting blowback for the very true stories about him. (Ones he admitted were true!!!!) If you are going to perform at the same venue that has housed iconic performers like Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, and Elton John in your “post-cancellation” career moves, then I think you’re doing absolutely fine.

(featured image: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Bob Woodruff Foundation)


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Author
Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.